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Islamabad's colleges cry for more buses

ISLAMABAD, May 25(Daily Times): Islamabad's eight government colleges are facing a shortage of buses and the problem is inconveniencing hundreds of students.

It was learned during a survey that most of the buses available for Islamabad's colleges were in poor shape and needed urgent repairs. The colleges are in need of funds for repairing the out-of-order buses and purchasing new ones to ease the misery of their students.

The students said the colleges had a few buses that offered pick and drop services to a small number of students. Therefore, they said, they had to rely on public transport to reach colleges. Girl students complained of undergoing nerve-wrecking experience due to shortage of college buses. "A van has only two seats reserved for women. We have to wait a long time to find a seat and often reach college late," said Ayesha Batool, a student. She demanded the government provide sufficient buses to colleges, especially women's colleges.

Islamabad Girls' College Principal Shaista Pirzada said that the college had seven buses for its 3,800 students. She acknowledged that the college had not enough buses to pick and drop all the students enrolled in the morning and evening classes. Requesting anonymity, an official said that Women's Development Minister Sumaira Malik had promised to provide the college with two more buses six months ago, but the promise had yet to be fulfilled. He also said that former minister Nilofer Bakhtiar had also promised one bus for the college, but that the bus had yet to be provided.

Federal Government Post Graduate College H-8 transport in charge Fardhad Khan said the college had two buses that were insufficient for the 1,700 students.

According to FG College for Men H-9 Principal Kazim Hussain, the college has three buses. He said he had moved a summary to the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) for four more buses and was awaiting response.

The FG Post Graduate College for Women F/ 7-2 vice principal, in comparison, seemed satisfied with the nine buses for 4,000 students. She said that though the buses were crammed with students, most of the students were provided with pick and drop facility. Federal Government College for Women F/7-4 Principal Mrs Shamim said the college had six buses and two of them had been sent for repairs.

FDE Director (Administration) Raja Abdul Hafeez said the directorate had approved 10 buses, worth Rs 39 million, for Islamabad's model and FG colleges. Four of them, he said, would be handed over to the FG colleges by the end of August.
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